I apologize for the long wait, I have been incredibly busy lately and I plan to continue to be busy. I should have done homework today instead of writing this, but that's how it is sometimes.
Again, I appreciate anyone who finds and notifies me of glitches, grammatical mistakes, or spelling errors. I don't have a beta and self editing never gets all the issues out.
Thanks a bunch for all the reviews!
"Doctor!" Rose shouted as soon as she came to, hanging quite inelegantly from the branch of a particularly large blue tree.
The alien in question hung in a similar fashion from a neighboring tree, seemingly out cold.
"Doctor, wake up!"
He peeked open one eye and hushed her, "Shhhh, Rose, I've got a plan. Just-"
A creature about the size of a raven, but bright red, featherless, and with a mouth full of tiny sharp teeth glided down to the branch harboring Rose, "Betta not shoutabout, or King HubDub feedsya tohis broodchicks." The alien's speech was apparently tricky for even the TARDIS to translate.
Rose sighed as she quieted down and watched the guard return to her higher perch. She silently glared at the motionless Doctor. He better get us out of this mess, she thought.
For their second trip back together again, the Doctor had gotten his way and the two of them went to the Hubbler galaxy and to the planet of HuddaBudda. It had started out nice enough.
"Here we are Rose, the planet of HuddaBudda!" With a dramatic flourish, he opened the doors of the TARDIS.
Rose was met with the sight of thousands upon thousands of bright blue trees, reaching up towards a darker blue sky. Her instinct was to grab hold of the Doctor's hand and gape upwards, which she did. They were amazing.
The Doctor grinned and looked down at her, he had waited so long to see that expression again. He realized that he wanted very much to see here eyes. He thought fast, "That's not even the best part Rose, wait until nightfall."
"What is it?" She looked at him with her big brown eyes and smiled with curiosity.
His hearts speeded up, he could feel the chemicals moving around his body but tamped them down reflexively. She was a human; he had to obey the rules. "Nah, can't tell you. It's a surprise." He winked playfully and lurched off into a steady walking pace, his hand clasped in Rose's pulling her along. She had to jog a step or two to catch up, nearly falling over in the lighter gravity.
"Please," she teased him and clung to his arm.
"No," he laughed.
They fell into another comfortable silence, following a narrow path through the dense forest. Rose took the time to really gaze at the surrounding foliage. Nowhere could she see a single tree less than two of her arm lengths across, and in between the massive trunks were a variety of shade-loving plants. There were green frondy ones, thick leaved purple ones, a few red ones that looked a bit like lettuce, and some somewhat suspicious looking yellow flower-like bulbous things coming out of the ground. She thought mushroom, but who knew?
The Doctor was thinking again, of course, but surprisingly his mind was on other things besides his brilliant companion. He too took in the sights of the empty looking trees and the quiet canopy. He remembered this place differently. Last time he had been here the trees were filled with the sounds of playing HuddaBuddians and he could have sworn that their canopy city was right in this area. Now that he really though about it, the trees looked just a bit smaller than he remembered.
Then his feet were swept right out from under him.
He jerked his head over to look at Rose, whose hand was ripped from his grasp by nets of vines that were swiftly boring the two up into the trees.
"Doctor!" she struggled in her net, "I though you said these people were friendly!"
He nearly grinned, she had said 'people'. "They are, or at least will be!" He had figured it out, the vine nets were from the HuddaBuddians' past. They had landed in the mists of a hunter-gatherer world!
This was not good.
As they came to a somewhat sudden stop a couple hundred feet above the ground, a mass of flying and jumping critters surrounded the nets. One who was slightly bigger than the rest, and who wore a feathered headdress as well as carried an ornate dagger, came forward and hissed the crowd to silence. It peered at the two strange figures in the nets, then spoke.
"Whatsthis? Itsnot afruthshish, maybenotgoodeat huh?" she looked towards a group of others, each with a single green feather strapped to their heads. They looked at each other, shuffled nervously, and bobbed their heads from side to side.
The Doctor watched them shrug and turned his attention back to the large female who had spoken, "I'm the Doctor and this is Rose," he nodded towards his companion, "We would like to see… your… leader?" He trailed off as the mob shifted angrily, all eyes on him.
"Actch! Preybeasts nottsapostah speaktalk! Takits toder King HubDub!"
Rose shot a worried look at the Doctor, he could only respond with a neutral face. This didn't sound good.
"Doctor?" she whispered as they were dragged off through the trees along a pulley system, "That didn't sound good, what are they plannin'?"
The befeathered female squawked indignantly, pulled out a tiny knife, and quickly stabbed Rose and the Doctor in turn.
They could barely utter a squeak before the world went fuzzy and black.
The Doctor had woken first. He again thanked his superior poison fighting system. His first thought was to check on Rose, he realized that he was hanging from a branch and that Rose was nearby. A quick sigh of relief left him as he noticed she was breathing steadily, it had just been some sort of knockout drug on the tip of that needle-like knife.
Closing his eyes to slits, he took a good look at his surroundings. They had been moved deeper into the forest and it was early morning by the look of the lighter sky. Darn, Rose would have loved to see this place at night, he thought. No, you have more important things to think about now, he reprimanded himself and set his mind to solving the problem of getting free and then down to the ground and back to his ship.
They seemed to be strung up in the middle of a village. The areas where the trunks branched off were filled with tents and shacks built of pelts and bleached bones. Slightly above them was the largest tree on the planet. Its trunk branched off into two huge tops, each as big around as the widest tree on earth. Between the enormous branches was a palace, of sorts. The walls were shoulder blades from an animal a bit larger than a Gallifreyan, and the entrance was an even larger skull of something that must have looked somewhat like an Earth crocodile, but it had two large holes in the upper jaw where huge fangs must have been. The bottom front teeth had also been pulled. The top of its head was adorned with hundreds of ornate feathers, some longer than the Doctor's arm, and all in an array of brilliant colors.
He guessed this was King HubDub's place.
Then he noticed the guard, and the guard noticed he was awake. He froze and stared. The guard used its clawed wings to grab and hoist itself on to a branch as it dropped closer to the Doctor, looking around nervously.
"Ihear youspeak?" it whispered in a female voice, looking at him intently.
He opened his mouth to respond, but was given an obvious warning glare and shake of the head. The guard looked around again before returning her focus to the Doctor.
She looked thoughtful for a moment, seemed to be mulling over some important decision. Then another of her kind, with a feather, emerged from a shack and looked towards the prisoners and the guard nonchalantly glided over to Rose, then back up to her original post. The Doctor shut his eyes as soon as he saw the other approach. He had seen what the guard was doing. He hoped it would work, and listened.
"Whyou socloseto darpresentcatch?" the male newcomer asked harshly.
"Justcheckingsir, theystwo sleepymuch. Princesspoisionknife muchaffective." She replied neutrally.
"Goodgood, Igogeta King now todecide."
The Doctor heard a light flapping of wings. That hadn't sounded good either. If the large female with the feathers and the knives was the princess, then the king was probably even worse.
Then Rose groaned into wakefulness and had started to get a response from the Doctor.
Which brings them back to the now.
Rose was startled when a loud voice broke her from her thoughts.
"IKingHubDub of HubbinDubbin! Areprisonerswakeyet?"
She swiveled around to get a better look at where the voice was coming from, and noticed the Doctor had opened his eyes and was staring as well. The King of these aliens was a sight to behold.
His size was one thing. He was nearly twice as big as his daughter but was in no way fat as you might expect a king to be. He was nearly pure pterosaur–like muscle from his neck down to his sharply curved talons. Atop the large head was an elaborate crown of feathers, even more beautiful than those at the entrance to his home. The crown continued to flow down his back and the whole headdress was completed with a necklace of claws from a variety of large animals. All in all, he didn't look very nice.
Now the Doctor was starting to really worry, he guessed that they had found an ally with their guard, but this King HubDub was going to be trouble.
HubDub addressed the growing crowd, "Nowletssee whatstado withda newthings hmm?" he ruffled his feathers and the crowd cheered, "Ibeesthinking prettyyellowthinfeathers lookgood oncrownyes?" More cheering.
It took a moment for the Doctor to get his meaning, "No!" he shouted. "Leave her alone!"
The crowd gasped, the king looked angry.
The guard swooped down and hit the Doctor over the head with her wing, hard. Then bent down to his ear and whispered, "Icanna getcha outaheres, helpyouescape, butyougotta playallong gottit? Bondsloose, waituntill sentencepassed, thenescape andrun. Megetfriendloose andmeetlater." Then she flew back up.
The king looked at her suspiciously, "Whaddayousay tocreaturething?"
"Metoldit shuddaup filthymouth."
"Thatnotta takesolong, whaddelse yousay?"
"Wordsnotkind toofilthysay infrontaroyalty." She bowed in respect.
The Doctor held back a laugh. She was good. He discreetly tested the ropes and they were indeed loose enough for him to wiggle free and drop to the nearby tree below him, now all he had to do was wait.
King HubDub laughed at her remark, content with the answer, and continued to pass his royal judgement.
"I'dlikes yellowfeathers forthecrown. Derbrownfeatherone notworth, justeatit. Myfamily getaeat deryellowone. Preparecookfires!" With the last bit, he flourished around to head back into his home.
The Doctor made his move. He shimmied around until the bonds loosened enough for him to slip through, and dropped right into the bushy blue leaves of the tree, making his way as quickly as possible towards the ground. He assumed that the guard would inform Rose to do the same.
Up above all hell broke loose. The creatures went into a mad frenzy of confusion. The guard landed on Rose's shoulder, she nearly screamed.
"Shushplease, Ihelpyou. Waitamoment." She drew her small dagger and yelled into the frenzy, "Dapreybeast gottaway! Gogetitback! Gogetitback! Iguardthishere! Gogettathatone! Watchout theremighta bemore!"
The last bit got the King and all the feathered ones to join the chase of the Doctor. The village grew silent as the majority of the warriors flew into the forest. Rose was left in bewilderment. Did the Doctor just ditch her? No, he couldn't have. Then she noticed the guard that had whispered to her earlier standing straighter on her shoulder looking proud.
Rose turned to face her as much as possible, "Why are you doin' this for us?"
"I not like KingHubDub," she said as one of the few remaining aliens started to work on loosening Rose's bonds, "Ithinks youand yourmate can helpus getrid ahim. Makeplace better yes?"
Rose nodded, "Yeah, we can help." She chose to ignore the comment on the doctor being her 'mate'.
Soon Rose was able to wiggle loose the same as the Doctor had, and descended the same tree. The guard stayed with her the entire time, balancing on her left shoulder.
"What's your name then?" Rose asked as she began to run awkwardly back towards the TARDIS in the low gravity, hoping that the Doctor knew enough to draw the angry aliens away from her.
Then Rose realized the connection between the alien's name and the name the Doctor had called the planet. They were once again meddling in someone's history. She grinned.
"Thatfunny?" HudBud looked a bit taken aback.
"No, not at all," Rose just shook her head, "it just reminded me of something fantastic."
HudBud looked confused, but stayed silent.
With only the sounds of her hard breathing and muffled footsteps, Rose realized something a little unnerving. She knew exactly where the TARDIS was. Knowing which direction she was in was something Rose had never been very good at, but even though she had blacked out earlier she could now tell in what direction and how far away the time ship was. Her eyes widened and she wracked her brain for the reason why, then stumbled upon a mental link she hadn't noticed before. She had long known that the TARDIS could get in her head, she did all the translating after all, but this was something more. It was a similar feeling to how she had felt the ship's feelings when she first came back, but it was a bit more solid of a presence, as if the TARDIS had sensed her fear and was trying to help guide her back.
Rose almost stopped running. Her mind was definitely not the same as it used to be. She realized that she had much stronger psychic abilities in ways beyond just putting up mental shields. This was getting a little freaky, but she had no time to stop and ponder the new circumstances, she had to save the Doctor. Rose ran on.
When they reached the blue ship, HudBud flew to the top of the Police Box sign and motioned quick directions to her followers whom Rose just now realized had been flying after them the whole way.
"Rose, myscout searchout yourfriend andseeif hecloseenough to callover. Yoube safe inabluething? Imustkill HubDub andallhis broodchicks, thisggoodplace forambush. Yougot goodweapon inside? Helpus?"
Rose brought her hand to her neck and started to panic. Her key was gone! They must have taken it while she and the Doctor had been out, what was she going to do? She took a deep breath to calm herself and turned to her new friend, "Yes, we'll be safe if we can get inside, and there's probably something that can be used as a weapon. Now hold on just a sec while I concentrate."
HudBud looked on in curiosity, as did a few of her lookouts, while Rose placed her hands against the TARDIS's doors.
She searched with her mind for that connection, when she found it the ship hummed happily in her mind. I missed you too, she thought, but you've gotta open the doors, I need to get in, please. She begged the ship with her mind over and over again hoping the TARDIS could even do what she was asking of her.
The door swung inwards and Rose cried out with joy. The alien standing guard across from the door of the blue box froze with shock and nearly fell off the branch when he saw what was through that door, but he regained his composure and sat silently with wide eyes.
Rose dashed in and HudBud followed her, also opening her eyes wide with shock, "Itbigger oninside." She exclaimed, perching on a strut.
"She sure is." Replied Rose.
Before HudBud could ask about the term 'she', her scout landed just outside the entrance and called in, "HudBud, creatureandking notfaroff, canprobablyshout andhear."
"Thankyou RuClud. Rosecall friendnow?"
Rose nodded and stuck her head out the door, "DOCTOR!" she hollered at the top of her lungs. Several of the pterosaur aliens flinched.
Then she listened.
It was faint, but it was him. She smiled and returned to rummage around the consol room for anything she might recognize as useful. Then she had an idea.
"Hey HudBud? D'you think you could have all your followers come in here as soon as the Doctor gets here? I have a plan, but I need all of you inside and the Doctor's help to implement it."
"I'm thinking a large wave of sound at the right pitch should stun everything within a short range outside the TARDIS, but that means you lot have to be inside and the King and his lot have got to be outside."
"Okay." She seemed a little unsure of the idea, but was willing to do what the stranger had said, one look around the ship though convinced her that it was her best chance of defeating King HubDub. She went and called her friends inside, which they did a bit grudgingly. They were quite nervous of such advanced technology.
Meanwhile, the Doctor was trying his best to keep out of the reach of the army of flying people. They had lived their whole lives in the lower gravity, but his legs were used to being at around Earth's gravity and trying to move them at normal running speed was going to make him trip. Having to duck and dodge wasn't making it any easier.
He ran as fast as he could towards where he had heard Rose yell.
When he made it he found that the TARDIS door was wide open, so he rushed in and slammed it shut behind him.
"Allright Rose, we should probably get going… now." He slowed to a halt as he noticed a few dozen of the planet's inhabitants sitting around the railing looking at him expectantly. His eyes flickered to Rose over by the consol.
She shook her head, "Sorry Doctor, I promised them We'd help." She pointed to the only one on the consol, "Her name is HudBud Doctor, think about it. She can't defeat the King all by herself. We have to help."
The Doctor's eyes widened as he came to the same realization that Rose had several minutes ago.
"Yeah," Rose continued, "I though maybe the TARDIS could send out a sound wave to stun everyone outside so that HudBud's people can dethrone the King and like free all her people with as little killing as possible."
The Doctor grinned, "You're a genius Rose!" and he grabbed her and kissed her on the forehead. Then he scrambled under the consol to fidget for a few moments with his sonic screwdriver, leaving Rose slightly blushing. He hadn't done that in a long time.
Shoot. He thought. I probably shouldn't have done that. Stupid. I really hope that it's still within the rules. Then he thought of how nice it had been to smell her light perfume and shampoo and touch his lips to her skin. Bad thoughts. Bad. Busy, have to rewire the sound circuits, remember you stupid old man! He scolded himself and the TARDIS found it a good time to let loose a spark at his finger.
"Ouch! What was that for?"
HudBud and the others looked at him strangely.
"He likes to yell at his ship when he shocks himself." Rose gave as an explanation, hoping to keep the sanity of the much less technologically advanced people as well as appeasing the TARDIS. It seemed to work because her hand that was resting on the consol received no electrical input.
"Done!" the Doctor yelled as he jumped up from and tapped some things into his keyboard.
They all waited.
The Doctor was the one to break the stillness by going to the door and opening it just enough to see out. "It worked."
"Scuseusthen Doctor," HudBud jumped to the floor and motioned for her followers to go out ahead of her, "Rose, Doctor, Thanksforhelp. Iwish you goodlife and manychildren. Youwelcome here anytime."
With that, she leaped out the door, leaving a very awkward situation behind.
The Doctor glanced at Rose, saw she had glanced at him, and decided his shoes were much more interesting. He rubbed nervously at his neck, trying to not think of the image of Rose being more than just a friend. He tried really hard to think of Dalek Sec instead. There that worked. He looked up.
"'Spose we should be going now yeah?" Rose asked, avoiding eye contact with the Doctor and looking away slightly.
Was that her blushing there for a minute? Oh man did he feel awkward now, he really was trying to just be like they used to be. Things like that used to happen all the time, so why was it any different now? Could she still laugh it off? Could he? He shook his head briefly to clear it.
"Yup! Where to next Rose Tyler!" He decided that moving on was the safest choice.
She smiled as he started up the engine, but then her smiled disappeared as the ship dematerialized.
"Doctor," her hand went to her throat, "I think I lost my key."
He let out a huge breath he didn't know he had been holding since she lost that smile. It was his turn to smile back, "I'll just have to get you a new one."
She smiled again, and the Doctor knew that everything would be all right between them. Even though they had never gotten to see the trees glow at night.